“We go down chutes and up ladders!” Any friend of mine who’s brought her kids to the park with my children and me has heard me yell these simple but loaded words to my kids. And while at the park one day, a friend just recently said, “It’s hard being a parent.” Yup. The context of our conversation was that doing laundry and changing diapers aren’t hard. They’re just annoying, and often times, gross tasks (where did that stain come from?!). Even trying to appease the ever-rotating taste buds of my breakfast table of four isn’t hard; it’s trying (“No, I only like orange cheese”).
No, I’m talking about parenting. The repeated correcting, rebuking, and teaching of the moral reason why we do things and why we don’t do things. Especially in the face of a world that does do a lot of things we don’t do.
Still with me?
Proverbs 12:1 says, “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, But he who hates reproof is stupid.”
Is it really that big of a deal if kids climb up the slide? Many parents would say “no.” For me, absolutely, categorically, yes! I have a laundry list as long as my arm with all the reason that I believe it’s wrong. Not because it’s not fun, but for moral and safety reasons that I believe translate into other areas of life. People say “kids are kids” Nope, try again. People say, “they’re just kids.” Again, no.
My four children were gifts God gave me. He said, “here, take care of these small humans. Don’t break them. And teach them. Teach them who I am. Teach them to love me. Teach them to obey me!”
Whoa. That’s quite a P.S. on the ‘congrats on the new baby’ card! But it’s true. Every. Single. Day. God commands me to be the mother my children need. He wants me to teach them to know they are sinners. They need to know they are helpless in their sin without the Blood of Christ. They need to know that because they are redeemed in Him, they have a job to do in our fallen world.
So what does this have to do with not climbing up a slide? Our job is to do the right thing in Him. We aren’t to obey rules because they are fun, but because we are commanded to obey authority.
“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.” Romans 13:1-2 NASB
The first authority our children meet are us. But eventually (*blinks back tears*) they must leave us and go out as young adults into the world. They’ll be met with an onslaught of rules, some of which make no sense, yet are rules nonetheless. Their obedience to God will set them apart and make them, as John says, Children of the Light.
We can all agree that in a world of darkness, we could use a lot more light. Well, hate to break it to ya’, but that starts with us, fellow moms. Daily we must consistently pour God’s truth into the hearts of the small humans He’s entrusted to us for only a few short years. And you know what? All that parenting is probably going to pay off when years later, we like the big humans they’ve become.